The impact of the global lockdown caused by Covid-19 has been devastating for so many, not least, two new dads who were in Spain when the travel restrictions were put in place.
Joan Fígols, who is 40, and his 38 year old husband Alex Fernández were in their hometown of Barcelona whilst their son Lluc was being born to a surrogate who was in Idaho in the US.
Dairy farmer Joan and Alex were excitedly preparing to travel to Idaho for the birth but the US then closed their borders to flights from Europe just weeks before Lluc was due to be born.
Realising they were facing a desperate battle, Alex told People magazine, “Our battle with the embassies started the moment the U.S. border was closed to European flights. We sent hundreds of emails asking for permission to travel, but we were always denied because Lluc hadn’t been born yet.”
Lluc was born on 24th April but the new dads heartbreakingly couldn’t be there
But in their absence, owner of the surrogacy agency they used, A Host of Possibilities, 40 year old Nicole Williamson, cared for Lluc along with her own two children.
With daily video calls and regular updates on doctor visits and how much he was feeding, Nicole kept the dads fully updated, leading to Joan and Alex calling Nicole and her family Guardian Angels.
Nicole says, “You just do what you need to do to make sure people are taken care of”. She’s been a surrogate four times and also cared for two other babies born to surrogates during the pandemic.
Carrying on their fight, devastatingly, only Joan was granted permission to travel, with no explanation
So off he set to Idaho and had to wait five days for the results of his Covid-19 test, which was negative. Lluc was then six weeks old by the time he met his dad Joan.
Joan said, “It had been such a long road to get here and then to finally have him in my arms. It was an emotional reunion.” The emotional reunion was live-streamed to Alex.
Nicole said, “There were so many things that happened in Lluc’s first six weeks that they didn’t get to experience. But seeing Joan hold him for the first time really was amazing.”
Joan stayed in Idaho for a few days finding his feet as a new dad whilst video chatting with Alex, awaiting the final document that would allow him to fly home with Lluc.
They finally arrived in Spain on 16th June
Alex said, “It felt like such a relief when they finally got here. Until he was here, it felt like our problems weren’t over yet.”
Lluc is now settled, sleeping through the night and getting lots of attention from his 12 aunts and uncles and nine cousins.
The couple say they’re eager to do it all again in a year or so, as little Lluc is completely worth all that stress and upset.